‘Uplifting’ musical returns

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Andrew Laing (seated) as Admiral von Schreiber in The Sound of Music. Photo: Supplied

VETERAN New Zealand actor Andrew Laing believes The Sound of Music has earned the right to be called one of the world’s best-loved musicals.

“It’s called that for a reason and that is because it is an extraordinary piece of writing and joyous and uplifting. I don’t think there’s a better way of spending your time and your money,” Laing said.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical songs including My Favorite Things, Edelweiss, Sixteen Going on Seventeenand the title song The Sound of Music.

It originally premiered on Broadway in 1959, followed by the Academy Award-winning Hollywood film in 1965.

Based on a true story, governess Maria changes the lives of widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by reintroducing them to music, culminating in the family’s escape from the Nazi regime in Austria.

Laing will play the role of Nazi Admiral von Schreiber alongside familiar faces Damian Avery (Captain von Trapp), Tizane McEvoy (Maria) and Geraldine Brophy, who plays Frau Schmidt as well as directing the show.

“The Sound of Musicis really something of a treat… the songs are just magical and I’m so very proud to be part of this production,” Laing said.

“[Geraldine] Brophy has created the most beautiful world for us to inhabit.”

The show is touring the country, from Kerikeri to Invercargill, where it will be performed at the Civic Theatre on Saturday, October 28.

Laing said the tour was going very well so far.

“The houses have been amazing and the response is joyous. You feel it coming back at you from the audience.”

Although his character is only on stage for a small amount of time, Laing said he was “having a great time just being the bad guy”.

“I turn up at the end to say ‘Captain von Trapp you’re coming off to join the navy’, which is the instigation for them to sort of turn heels and head on over the alps to run away.”

Laing, who is originally from Central Otago, said he caught the acting bug at a young age through the Alexandra Musical Society and Clyde Pantomime Society.

“It was all I ever wanted to do.”

From Dunstan High School he went on to perform at the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin and Court Theatre in Christchurch, before studying at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School.

Television credits include playing Dr Geoff Greenlaw on Shortland Street, along with roles in Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud, Outrageous Fortune.

And although he enjoys working in film and television, Laing said he was happy returning to the stage.

“For me theatre is my first love, and musical theatre especially.”

The Sound of Music, Civic Theatre, Invercargill, Saturday, October 28, 3pm and 7pm. Book at TicketDirect.

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